A View of Santhigiri Ashram

A View of Santhigiri Ashram
Lotus Parnasala and Sahakarana Mandiram , Santhigiri Ashram, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Guru Never Disappoints a Devotee

Gurucharanam Saranam

Bangalore, Year 1995. Mrs. Anand Ram, mother of Janani Rishi Retna Jnana Tapaswini called me in the office informing that those who have ‘experiences’ should reach Kanyakumari. I was surprised because she had rarely any reason to call me. Guru would be arriving there for the performance of a special sankalpam. Sitting in the boredom of office, the news was exhilarating. I reached Vivekananda Kendra at Kanyakumari, the venue, early in the morning. Guru was expected to reach in the afternoon. Sri Iyer and other organizers were present.

Arrangements for Guru’s accommodation were done at two places, one at Travancore Maharaja’s House on the seashore and the other at Vivekananda Kendram. Sri Kottayam Babu and Sri Surendran (Now brahmachari) were cleaning and preparing the rooms for Guru at Vivekananda Kendram. The rooms and bathroom were thoroughly brushed and cleaned with water and surf powder, then detoxified with fumes and then scented. I also contributed my might in cleaning and preparing the accommodation of Guru. I felt an inner satisfaction while rubbing the floor that I could get such an opportunity. I earnestly prayed that Guru should feel comfortable and pleasant in the room that I cleaned. The rooms at Travancore House too were getting ready simultaneously. No one knew to which place Guru would go. As I had sincerely prayed and exerted much cleaning the room at Vivekananda Kendram, I expected Guru to come to Vivekananda Kendram. But soon information came that the cavalcade of Guru has approached Kanyakumari and that Guru would be going straight to Travancore House.

Soon the cavalcade arrived and I knew that Guru went to Travancore House. Some of us went to Travancore house and met Guru. After sometime or the next day morning (regret my failing memory) all people were asked to immediately assemble at Vivekanada Kendram for the sankalpam. Thousands of white clad devotees sat down wherever possible in the vast lawns of Vivekananda Kendram and did the sankalpam. I do not remember the lines of sankalpam Guru gave us that day, but it was a major sankalpam Guru did for the spiritual uplift of India. A procession was also taken the same day through Kanyakumari town to the sea beach, where Guru spoke to the assembly of devotees from a dais built for the purpose on the beach. Guru spent the night at Travancore House. The room arranged for Guru at Vivekananda Kendram was occupied by few ladies in the night as all other rooms in the centre were occupied. I felt irritated by this fact. I had cleaned the room with extreme devotion and prayers for Guru. But now it was all futile.

The following day Guru came to Vivekananda Kendram. A welcome was arranged by the staff and devotees at Vivekananda Kendram for Guru. Guru spoke to the assembly and gave prasadam to all people at Vivekananda Kendram. Devotees also received prasadam from Guru. After the function, Guru stepped down the dais, the usual disciples holding his hands in accompaniment. Guru walked through the pandal to the vehicle parked nearby on the road. Devotees thronged both sides to have a glance at Guru. I still remember the gentle and tender figure of Guru walking, exuding more light than the brilliant daylight around. His was truly a divine form. Though I was enjoying all this, I still felt a vacuum in my heart thinking about the vain job I have done for the sake of Guru in preparing his room. It was all over now.

Guru was seated in the car and it began to move round the curve, the devotees still following him. I lazily stayed behind watching the disappearing vehicle of Guru. I turned back trying to figure out about my return journey. After a few minutes, I found people still thronging in the pathway Guru’s car went. The people were crowded near the room which I had cleaned the previous day for Guru’s stay. I immediately went up there to find out what was happening. Then the devotees said that Guru was resting in the room. After sometime, the cavalcade of Guru moved on again its way back to the ashram. The room Guru got into and rested was the one I cleaned and prepared for him the previous day. Guru never disappoints a devotee in the matter of sincere love and devotion.
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